Happy Fall, Y’all!

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Chilly weather, and chili weather…

My cousin Judy has lots of kitchen traditions she has built with her family over the years.  The first snowfall of the season always brings a homemade pie, for example.  For the last couple of years, Judy has opened her kitchen up for “Fall-Chili-And-Hot-Tamale-Making-Day”.  And we’ve already started talking about this year’s installment!  I can’t wait to spend time together, stirring the chili pot, making the mixtures of meat and meal, assembling those little packages of tamale goodness!  We share the work and then share the finished product, with me and anyone else who helped taking some home to enjoy later. And of course, we have to taste and see that what we made was good!  Quality control, after all.

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It reminds me of the times when Mama and “Mamaw” Allred, Aunt Martha, Aunt Ruby and/or any combination of them, would gather in someone’s kitchen to make tamales, or candy, or to can tomatoes and green beans in the summertime.  Shared work provided shared goodies, as well as lots of laughs and fun.  The foods they prepared nourished both body and soul.

I look forward to chili-and-hot-tamale-making-day, for the yummy food we hope to make.  But even more than the physical food, I look forward to the comfort of time spent together with Judy and whoever else can join us (both Reed and Jeff have helped in the past), carrying on the traditions of the generation before us.  And I think this year, cake may need to happen!

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